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Agricultural Technical Efficiency of Smallholder Farmers in Ethiopia: A Stochastic Frontier Approach

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  • Markose Chekol Zewdie

    (Department of Engineering Management, Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Antwerp, Stadscampus, Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
    Department of Economics, Peda Campus, College of Business and Economics, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar P.O. Box 79, Ethiopia)

  • Michele Moretti

    (Department of Engineering Management, Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Antwerp, Stadscampus, Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
    Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Pisa, via del Borghetto 80, 56124 Pisa, Italy)

  • Daregot Berihun Tenessa

    (Department of Economics, Peda Campus, College of Business and Economics, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar P.O. Box 79, Ethiopia)

  • Zemen Ayalew Ayele

    (Department of Agricultural Economics, Zenzelima Campus, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar P.O. Box 79, Ethiopia)

  • Jan Nyssen

    (Department of Geography, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281, S8, 9000 Gent, Belgium)

  • Enyew Adgo Tsegaye

    (Department of Natural Resource Management, Zenzelima Campus, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar P.O. Box 79, Ethiopia)

  • Amare Sewnet Minale

    (Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Peda Campus, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar P.O. Box 79, Ethiopia)

  • Steven Van Passel

    (Department of Engineering Management, Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Antwerp, Stadscampus, Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
    Department of Economics, Peda Campus, College of Business and Economics, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar P.O. Box 79, Ethiopia)

Abstract

In the past decade, to improve crop production and productivity, Ethiopia has embarked on an ambitious irrigation farming expansion program and has introduced new large- and small-scale irrigation initiatives. However, in Ethiopia, poverty remains a challenge, and crop productivity per unit area of land is very low. Literature on the technical efficiency (TE) of large-scale and small-scale irrigation user farmers as compared to the non-user farmers in Ethiopia is also limited. Investigating smallholder farmers’ TE level and its principal determinants is very important to increase crop production and productivity and to improve smallholder farmers’ livelihood and food security. Using 1026 household-level cross-section data, this study adopts a technology flexible stochastic frontier approach to examine agricultural TE of large-scale irrigation users, small-scale irrigation users and non-user farmers in Ethiopia. The results indicate that, due to poor extension services and old-style agronomic practices, the mean TE of farmers is very low (44.33%), implying that there is a wider room for increasing crop production in the study areas through increasing the TE of smallholder farmers without additional investment in novel agricultural technologies. Results also show that large-scale irrigation user farmers (21.05%) are less technically efficient than small-scale irrigation user farmers (60.29%). However, improving irrigation infrastructure shifts the frontier up and has a positive impact on smallholder farmers’ output.

Suggested Citation

  • Markose Chekol Zewdie & Michele Moretti & Daregot Berihun Tenessa & Zemen Ayalew Ayele & Jan Nyssen & Enyew Adgo Tsegaye & Amare Sewnet Minale & Steven Van Passel, 2021. "Agricultural Technical Efficiency of Smallholder Farmers in Ethiopia: A Stochastic Frontier Approach," Land, MDPI, vol. 10(3), pages 1-17, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jlands:v:10:y:2021:i:3:p:246-:d:508182
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Ming Chang & Jing Liu & Hongxu Shi & Tianfeng Guo, 2022. "The Effect of Off-Farm Employment on Agricultural Production Efficiency: Micro Evidence in China," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(6), pages 1-12, March.

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